Friday, July 1, 2016

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The streak of seven consecutive losses for the Vikings in the Windy City came to an end Sunday when Blair Walsh split the uprights with a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give the Vikings a dramatic 23-20 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Walsh’s game winner was set up by a terrific Charles Johnson jump ball reception with less than a minute to play. The 6’2″ wide receiver flashed his vertical skills as he went up to high-point a 37-yard deep shot down the right sideline on 2nd-and-six from the Vikings’ 36 moving them in field goal range.

It was Stefon Diggs however, who stole the show once again with a 40-yard catch and run for the score to tie the game at 20 with 1:49 to play. On a big 3rd-and-four from Chicago’s 40 yard line, Bridgewater had plenty of time to find Diggs on a crossing route which he broke back to the outside and went up the left sideline for the touchdown.

On a day that didn’t feature the best of Teddy Bridgewater (17 of 30 for 187 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception), the Vikings got 103 yards rushing from Adrian Peterson plus a Marcus Sherels 65-yard punt return to the house helping capture a second-straight division road win. The Vikings improve to 5-2 on the season.

37 year old Terrence Newman led the defense with seven total tackles and was tested often by Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery. The duo connected 10 times for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. The defense wasn’t dominate, but with the game on the line, they forced a big three-and-out with 60 seconds to play giving the Vikings a chance to move into game winning field goal range.

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    If the 2014 version of Mike Zimmer’s Minnesota Vikings needed to focus on improving one area, it was very easily their ability to win within the NFC North. Last year, the Vikings lost five of their divisional matchups, with their only win coming at home in Week 17 against an uninspired Chicago Bears team.

    This week the Bears are not feeling quite so down on their luck and the fight will take place in their house. The Vikings are undefeated against NFC North teams so far this season, but they have only faced the hapless Detroit Lions thus far.

    The Vikings will have to win without Sharrif Floyd in the lineup yet again, but the excitement surrounding rookies Stefon Diggs and Eric Kendricks has the team looking like the superior squad this week.

    Discuss all the action and the fallout in the comments section below!

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    The Vikings have announced their inactive players 90 minutes prior to kickoff in Chicago.

    The Vikings are looking to win in Chicago for the first time in this decade and mid-season injuries are starting to nag the team with a handful of notable players missing from today’s game.

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    Vikings Injury Report
    NamePositionInjuryWed.Thur.Fri. Status
    Cole, AudieLBFingerDNPLimitedLimitedOUT
    Ellison, RhettTEConcussionLimitedDNPDNPOUT
    Floyd, SharrifDTKnee/AnkleDNPDNPDNPOUT
    Trattou, JustinDEFootDNPDNPDNPOUT
    Johnson, TomDTKneeFullFullFullProbable
    Line, ZachRBNeckLimitedFullFullProbable
    Peterson, AdrianRBHip/Finger/AnkleDNPDNPLimitedProbable
    Thielen, AdamWRAnkleLimitedFullFull Probable
    Wright, JariusWRConcussionDNPFullFullProbable

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    After already playing (and defeating) the Detroit Lions twice, Minnesota will now face another of its conference rivals: Chicago. The Bears have certainly looked to be a less-than-stable team so far this season, and the Vikings defense should be enough to handle Jay Cutler and Co.

    It cannot be ignored, however, that Cutler is an unpredictable force and on any given Sunday can be playing at one extreme or the other. The Vikings have also historically struggled at Soldier Field. Since 2000, Minnesota has won just one of the 14 road games against Chicago.

    There are plenty of factors to consider about Sunday’s game, so let’s see how the two teams match up offensively.

    Offensive Line

    Now that it’s been all but guaranteed that John Sullivan will not return to the field in 2015, the Vikings know exactly what they’re working with long term. While it’s incredibly difficult to fill Sullivan’s shoes (or cleats, in this instance), Joe Berger has done an okay job stepping in as a veteran who isn’t naturally a center. Heading into Sunday’s game, the biggest concern might be rookie T.J. Clemmings.

    While Clemmings hasn’t done too terrible of a job considering he was tossed into the fire in Phil Loadholt‘s absence, the rookie got demolished against Denver in Week 4 and may face a similar situation going up against linebacker Pernell McPhee. Clemmings looked entirely overwhelmed blocking against the Broncos, and McPhee could give him trouble.

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